You like eating cheese, and now you want to try melted cheese instead? You simply can’t resist the beauty of stretching cheese, but you are not sure how to do it? We’ll show you how!
The process of melting cheese and turning it into a sauce or topping is slow, but a gratifying one. You always have to pay attention not to use too much heat, and keep stirring it, but not overdo it.
Sounds complicated? It’s really not, trust us.
Melted cheese is ooey and gooey, but it tastes even better than a non-melted one.
Watching how the cheese melts is fantastic, but eating the melted cheese is even more satisfying than that.
Whether you want to use the melted cheese for the sandwich topping, dip or anything else, you need to know that not every cheese is made for melting. There are a variety of things you can use melted cheese for.
Some of the examples are Mac&Cheese, Nachos dips, Omelettes, Pizza toppings. But you can also use some of the cheeses for a delicious muffin and other sweet stuff.
First, you have to know which cheese is good for melting and which isn’t. There are a couple of factors to consider before melting cheese.
For a start, the amount of moisture and fat cheese has. Don’t use feta, cottage cheese, parmesan or ricotta. Cheeses with a higher amount of fat and moisture will melt better.
Another critical factor is the acidity of cheese. Each cheese has a different pH value.
Low pH value means that casein (cheese proteins) will be too tight, and a high value indicates that proteins of cheese will be too loose.
The perfect pH value of cheese is somewhere between 5 and 5.9.
Also, the age of the cheese is essential as well. Younger cheeses are better than aged ones when it comes to melting.
Certain types of cheese simply won’t melt, or they will turn into a mess.
For our readers, we made a list of 7 best melting kinds of cheese with a guide on how to melt them.
Ah, Cheddar, one of the most popular choices when it comes to cheeses used for melting. It’s tasty when it’s hard, but it’s simply amazing how good Cheddar tastes when it’s melted.
It’s recommended to use Cheddar if you want something more liquid to prepare sauces or hot dips.
Don’t let it cool, otherwise, it will become hard again.
You can also use it for preparing grilled cheese or pasta.
Cheddar has a pH value between 5.2 and 5.3 which is ideal for melting.
Famous for it’s sweet and nutty flavour, this hard yellow cheese becomes even better by the melting process.
This cheese is ideally used for sandwiches, French onion soup or Ham & Cheese sandwich.
Gruyere has a pH value between 5.5 and 5.7 which is all right, but not ideal for melting.
Famous for its holes, it’s one of the most recognizable cheese types in the world. It usually varies from medium to hard. It’s a low-moisture cheese, so when it melts, it doesn’t wholly liquify like some other cheeses. When melted, it can be used for so many things, from soups to toppings.
Swiss cheese has a pH value between 5.5 and 5.7, which is slightly above ideal for melting.
Very simple to melt, especially if you decide to buy classic American Cheese slices. It has one of the lowest melting points of all the cheeses. Much cheaper than all other cheese types, too! You should know that it’s usually full of salt and highly processed, so it might not be the healthiest choice.
American cheese has a pH value between 5.2 and 5.3 which makes it one of the most perfect cheeses for melting.
Gouda can vary from semi-hard to hard. Whether you decide to use smoked or standard gouda, this is the best choice for Mac & Cheese. Its texture is chewy and soft when melted, and it has a sweet-ish taste.
You can use it for grilled cheese, sauces and dips.
Gouda has a pH value between 5.1 and 5.4, which is perfect for melting.
This semi-hard cheese becomes smooth when melted. That makes it perfect for sauces and dips. It goes well with nachos and chips.
Edam cheese has a pH value between 5.2 and 5.4 which makes it perfect for melting.
This semi-soft cheese is famous as one of the most used cheeses for pizza toppings. When melted, it can stretch a lot without breaking, unlike other types of cheese.
You should always look for fresh balls of mozzarella because the mozzarella blocks are meant for grating, and they have less moisture in them.
Mozzarella has a pH value between 5.4 and 5.1 which is perfect for melting.
How to Melt a Cheese:
For starters, you should shred or grind your cheese before you start to melt it. Or at least slice it into thin slices. It will melt much quicker if you do it. If you are too lazy or don’t have time, you can buy pre-shredded or cheese in slices and save some time and energy.
After that, leave it on room temperature. Don’t ever melt cheese when it’s cold, because the melting process will be much slower. Leave it on room temperature for around half an hour.
Below, you can read about three methods of melting cheese. It’s up to you which method you will choose, whatever is more convenient for you.
Method 1: Frying pan or a skillet
- Always choose a non-stick pan or a skillet. You don’t want your cheese to stick to your pan/skillet because it would take a lot of effort to remove it.
- When you are ready, turn on the heat but always use the lowest possible heat. Otherwise, you will ruin everything with a high temperature.
- If we are talking science stuff about cheese, it’s mostly made out of protein, fat, and water. Melting it on high temperature will cause the protein of the cheese to break easily, and the moisture would evaporate very fast, resulting in a charred and stiffy mess of cheese.
- After you put it into the pan or a skillet, don’t leave it. Always keep an eye on it and whisk it, but don’t overdo it. You can use a fork if you don’t have a wire whisk.
- Cheese has a low burning point, so there is no need to melt it any longer than necessary because it can burn.
- As soon as the cheese melts remove it immediately.
Method 2: Microwave
- Take the shredded, ground or sliced cheese and put it into a bowl. Place the container inside the microwave and heat it on the highest temperature settings, for 30 seconds. This is enough time to melt the cheese completely.
- After 30 seconds, take the bowl out and stir the cheese until it becomes lump-free and smooth.
- If there are still lumps, you can return it to the microwave and leave it for around 5-10 seconds more
Method 3: Steaming
- For this method you will need a pot, steamer basket, and a plate.
- Take the pan and fill it with one-third of water and heat it until the boiling point.
- Once the water starts to boil, reduce the temperature on the lowest possible.
- Take the steamer basket and place it on the top of the pot.
- Then, take the plate filled with cheese and place it on the top of the steamer basket.
- The vapor from the pot will heat the plate, which will melt the cheese. Stir it a little bit and that’s it.
Bonus tips: You can add booze like wine or beer. Not only will it improve the flavour, but it will also help keep the cheese proteins moist and diluted, and prevent the cheese from getting stringy.
If you want to add something non-alcoholic instead, you can go with vinegar or lemon juice.
Another thing that you can add to your cheese when you melt it is corn starch or flour combined with milk because it keeps the fat from separating.
If you are feeling creative, you can add some ingredients to improve your melted cheese, such as salt, mustard, pepper – whatever you like.
You can also combine types of cheese and melt them together. The choices are unlimited!
If you happen to know more types of cheese that are good for melting or a cheese melting combinations, leave a comment below and let us know.